Brown’s First Muslim Chaplain Builds Community, Network of Muslim Chaplains

March 27, 2006

Source: ISNA

Wire Service: AP

On March 27, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "[Rumee] Ahmed is Brown [University]'s first Muslim chaplain and joined four other associate chaplains at the school when he started last month... Ahmed has focused on developing programs since he started the job. His efforts include: a biweekly dinner that combines chanting and a short talk; a lecture series in which scholars from around the nation examine how Islam is practiced in the United States; 'Muslim Encounters,' a forum in which graduate students will discuss historical events from different religious perspectives; and scriptural reasoning, in which Muslims, Christians and Jews take turns presenting their perspective on a common religious text. Ahmed is also developing a network for his fellow Muslim chaplains at colleges in New England and New York. In that, he has an advantage - his wife is the new Muslim chaplain at Connecticut College and a good friend holds the post at Wesleyan University. The group of about 20 has created an online discussion board and met earlier this month at Hartford Seminary to organize. Most are volunteers, and many work at more than one college. Ahmed said he hopes students will take what they learn through the programs back into the classroom. But community building is also a priority. He has organized bowling and ice skating excursions, and is reaching off campus, with Brown students visiting a North Smithfield mosque and sharing pizza with those from Rhode Island College and Providence College. A stronger sense of [a Muslim] community also could help Brown attract more Muslim students... Ahmed said."